Weekly Review — April 3, 2007, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

“Into the palace parlor they stepped; her hand in his paw the old bruin kept,” 1875

In Tal Afar, Iraq, a truck bomb killed 152 people, making it the deadliest attack of the war. Two hundred and fifty more people died in other bombings carried out against Shiite targets.Reuters via China PostPresident George W. Bush asserted that withdrawing from Iraq would be disastrous and supported his claims by citing two Baghdad bloggers.AP via BreitbartThe newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Iraq spoke of “encouraging signals of progress,”Reuters via China Postand the British Ministry of Defence found that a study which had placed Iraq’s civilian death toll at 655,000 was “robust.”BBCBlood spewed from a sewer in Minneapolis. “Blood just all over my face, in my mouth, I could taste it,” said a city worker. “It was terrible. I had it in my mouth and I kept spitting and I couldn’t get rid of it.”wcco.comIn Washington, D.C., Karl Rove danced on stage during a press dinner and pretended to be a rapper, shouting: “I’m MC Rove.”BBCMichael Jackson was planning to create a fifty-foot-tall robotic replica of himself that would roam the Las Vegas desert while firing laser beams,Dotmusic via Yahoo!NEWSand in Spearsville, Louisiana, two fifth-graders had sex on a classroom floor during an assembly about murder.APSan Francisco endorsed legislation to establish a U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence,News Blazeand in the Indian state of Gujarat, an unemployed man from Tooting, England, had found new work as Bahucharaji, the patron goddess of eunuchs.AnanovaBritish Prime Minister Tony Blair said that he was disgusted with Iran’s treatment of 15 Royal Navy hostages. Spiegel Online

In the United States, crystal meth was now available in candy flavors,USA TODAYand government health officials warned of the risk of salmonella from live Easter chicks.AP via local6.comAt the Gaza?Egypt border a woman with three baby crocodiles strapped to her waist was detained after guards noticed that she looked “strangely fat.” AP via New York TimesAt least four Palestinians in Gaza were killed by what authorities called a “sewage tsunami,”AFP via Breitbartand a West Bank woman had developed special “queuing” socks to help her countrymen who suffer from swollen feet while waiting at Israeli military checkpoints.BBCA U.S. Army recruiter’s email exchange with a gay man was published in a New Jersey newspaper. “YOU GO BACK TO AFRICA AND DO YOUR GAY VOODOO LIMBO TANGO AND WANGO DANCE,” wrote the recruiter, “AND JUMP AROUND AND PRANCE AND RUN ALL OVER THE PLACE HALF NAKED.” Jersey JournalIn Zimbabwe, scores of teenagers were beaten by riot police and dragged from a disco, iol.co.zaand President Robert Mugabe admitted responsibility for the recent torture of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who, Mugabe said, “asked for it.”iol.co.zaChina was considering using its vast harvest of rape to create biodiesel. “The government,” said Agriculture Ministry official Wang Shoucong, “should foster research work to nurture high-yield rape.”PTI via HinduAustrianscientists claimed that men who sleep in the same bed as their partners may suffer reduced mental function,iol.co.zaand the World Health Organization endorsed circumcision as a tool to reduce the spread of HIV. “The recommendations represent a significant step forward,” said WHO HIV/AIDS director Kevin De Cock.BBCResearchers discovered that Canadianschool bullies were forcing their girlfriends to strip online,Reutersand members of a Michigan college fraternity called the police after a woman disrobed and started masturbating in their living room and refused to leave; the fraternity now plans to throw away two sofas.Michigan Daily

As many as 600,000 drought-stricken camels were invading communities in northern Australia;AdelaideNowa California man was released from prison after serving five months for shooting an ostrich named Gaylord who had embarrassed him in front of women; San Francisco Chronicleand in Germany, a black Australian swan named Petra was in love with a paddleboat.AnanovaThe world’s tallest person, an Inner Mongolian herdsman who last year used his long arms to save two dolphins by removing plastic from their stomachs, married a woman.AP via New York TimesIt was suggested that Yan Yan, a panda at the Berlin Zoo, died from stress in the wake of intense publicity generated by Knut, his polar-bear-cub neighbor.GuardianA rambunctious elephant in Sasthamcotta, India, killed its second mahout, Podimon of Modioozhathil, who died on the way to a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram,newindpress.comand farther north, police in Bhiwandi registered a complaint after a hill, with an estimated street value of $5.5 million, was reported stolen.Mumbai MirrorThe Dead Sea was disappearing,Economist via Toronto Stara 15,000-mile-wide hexagon was seen on Saturn,Daily Mailand a Nepalese teenager believed to be a reincarnation of the Buddha began a three-year meditation in a concrete bunker.AFP via Yahoo!NEWS Singapore

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“One of the peculiar things about economic inequality is that the people who are most articulate about it are not poor, while the poor themselves have said little, at least in print, about their situation.”
Photograph © Reuters/Brendan McDermid
“It would be nice to get through this review without recourse to the term ‘writer’s writer.’ The thing is, in the case of Joy Williams, I have seen the cliché made flesh.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
“Miniatures originated in Persia and were brought to the Indian subcontinent when the Mughals conquered it in the sixteenth century. They could take on almost any subject: landscapes or portraits; stories of love, war, or play.”
Painting by by Imran Qureshi.
“The business of being a country veterinarian is increasingly precarious. The heartland has been emptying of large-animal vets for at least two decades, as agribusiness changed the employment picture and people left the region.”
Photograph by Lance Rosenfield
“Rosie and her husband had burned through their small savings in the first few months after she lost her job. Now their family of five relied on his minimum-wage paychecks, plus Rosie’s unemployment and food stamps, which, combined, brought them to around $2,000 per month, just above the poverty line.”
Illustrations by Taylor Callery

Ratio of children’s emergency-room visits for injuries related to fireworks last year to those related to “desk supplies”:


The ecosystems around Chernobyl, Ukraine, are now healthier than they were before the nuclear disaster, though radiation levels are still too high for human habitation.

The Islamic State opened two new theme parks featuring a Ferris wheel, teacup rides, and bumper cars.

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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”

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